India-Maldives partnership deepens during EAM’s visit, focusing on community development and infrastructure projects
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar concluded his visit to the Maldives. It was his fourth visit as the External Affairs Minister. He was welcomed by Maldives’ Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and was delighted to be back in the country. The visit was an opportunity to strengthen the synergies of India’s Neighborhood First policy and Maldives’ India First policy.
Dr Jaishankar visited several places and met with various leaders in the Maldives during his visit. He visited the Noonu Mandhoo preschool and was pleased to see that books from India will help the students connect to the world. He had a warm and productive meeting with Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid where they discussed the full spectrum of their special bilateral partnership with a focus on development cooperation, capacity building, and people-to-people ties.
The partnership between India and Maldives has made a real difference in the lives of people in Maldives. During his visit, Dr Jaishankar witnessed the exchange of agreements and handovers for various community development projects across the Maldives, the development of a sports complex in Gahdhoo, the academic collaboration between Maldives National University and Cochin University, sea ambulance to Maldives’ Defence Force, and the Inauguration of the Shaviyani Foakaidhoo Community Centre.
The community centre was built under the Indian grant assistance and was a project aimed at providing a space for community activities and capacity-building initiatives in the Shaviyani Atoll. Dr Jaishankar highlighted the importance of community development projects in strengthening the bond between India and Maldives and reiterated India’s commitment to being a dedicated partner in Maldives’ journey of progress and transformation.
He also visited Manadhoo’s Water and Sanitation Facility project and was happy to see how it will provide safe drinking water for the Atoll. He also had the opportunity to call on the President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and convey personal greetings of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Dr Jaishankar also joined President Solih and his ministers and local leaders at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Hanimaadhoo International Airport Development Project, signing of the contract for the expansion of the MIFCO facility which will augment livelihood opportunities, and paid homage to Sultan Mohamed Thakururufaanu, a revered national hero of the Maldives at his Memorial Center.
After his successful visit to Maldives, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar has now embarked on his Sri Lanka visit where he will be meeting the country’s leadership.
This visit is considered to be very crucial for Sri Lanka given its poor economic conditions. During his visit, the EAM will be holding meetings with the President, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka to discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional issues. The two countries are expected to strengthen their economic and cultural ties, and explore new areas of cooperation.
India has always been a close partner of Sri Lanka and this visit is expected to deepen the relationship further. The visit is also expected to help India in consolidating its ties with Sri Lanka, which is strategically located in the Indian Ocean region.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team